Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our performances at King Richard's Faire

Well, our run of King Richard's Fair is almost over, and it's been plagued by bad weather. We had one whole weekend cancelled due to rain (The remains of Hurricane Ike), and had one day where the fair decided to open in the rain, because the rain was dying down, but attendance was extremely low.

Not a lot of people have seen us as a result, and we've only seen one review on a rennie board, which gave us a "wow" review.

So here is how everything went so far.

On the weekend of Aug 30, 31, and Sept 1:

Our debut weekend was prepared for by having band members go to the fair a week before the show, and scope out the stage. We were told that we needed to be amplified, because the stage is in an open area, and sound doesn't travel far. The stage is electrified, so we looked where the power outlets were, and made sure that we had enough cables to reach everything. We also had to map out where we were going to stand, as we had to ensure enough room for the dancer.

Our first weekend had slight misty showers, but thankfully they stopped in time for our shows. We performed 4 shows, and got a sort of feel for which songs people liked, and which ones they didn't. After the first day, we realized that the March of Cambreadth was not a hit. Part of the reason is due to the fact that it's got a few strong words in it, and it's all about blood and war. With lyrics like "Send these bastards back to hell!" and "fight till everyone is dead!", parents with children could be seen picking up their kids and moving away. So we abandoned that number.

Since I had injured my Achilles tendon a week earlier, I wasn't able to dance around much at all, and was sort of stiff while playing. Fortunately, I wasn't in too much pain, but I played it safe to prevent re-injury.

On the second day, we were asked to take over the "Musicians Of The Realm" part of the show, which is a slot where all the music acts show up at the end of the day, and do impromptu jams. We had no idea what we were supposed to be doing, but we fell into the role quite well, and the other musicians really loved us. We played along with several musicians, and made new friends. By the third day, we were being stopped around the fair by various performers and they complimented us, which felt really good. Sometimes, a few good words really makes up for lack of pay.

On the weekend of Sept. 13 & 14:

We returned to soggy weather. We heard that the weekend before, one which we were not scheduled to play, that the fair actually closed due to rain. They were expecting to close on Saturday, because it was pouring. We all huddled in the barn, and waited for the official word on what would happen. As the time approached 11:00am, the rain started to taper off, and they said the Faire would open.

As we set up our stuff on the stage, the rain started up again, and we put our instruments back in their cases, and moved everything under a nearby roof. Fortunately, the roof we sheltered under was an un-used food court stall, and it was not scheduled to be open all day. We got permission to play there, since the rain was not stopping. The attendence that Saturday was terrible. It looked like only about 50 patrons showed up. Fortunately, our shelter allowed us to play without amplification. At the time slot of our first performance, the rain got rather heavy, and patrons sheltered under the roof with us. We took this opportunity to perform a nice close and personal show for the people, of both our usual numbers and some impromptu jams. People really liked it, and near the end of the performance, the rain stopped, and we were able to do some bagpipe numbers.

This weekend, my Achilles tendon was much better, and I danced around with my pipes, which seemed to really improve the act. From that point on, I made sure to dance around during all the bagpipe numbers.

Sunday was clearer, and there was no rain. We seemed to repeat our success of the previous weekend, albeit, the damp weather didn't help.

On The Weekend of Sept. 27 & 28:

Rain, rain, and more rain! The remnants of Hurricane Ike were over New England, and the fair was called off. We stayed home watching the weather reports, but there wasn't any encouragement. We were slightly disappointed.

On The weekend of Oct. 11 - 13:

As we approach the last weekend of the fair, the weather forecast is clear and dry, and only slightly cloudy. We're preparing to make this last weekend work well, by having a large banner draped on the front of the stage, as well as planning on some new numbers to do for the Musicians of the Realm and the closing ceremonies. The Faire decided to stay open for another weekend to make up for all the closings, but we already had other plans made, since we had to put aside all of our weekend time for the fair. We're hoping to get some videotaping done, so we have video to send around to other faires, and for publicity. We want this final weekend to go out with a bang, and be remembered so we can get better paying gigs in the future.

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